Guy Kills 3-Year-Old in Game of 'Gun Tag'
26-year-old says he was intoxicated and didn't know the gun was loaded
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2014 9:01 AM CDT
Updated Oct 27, 2014 9:30 AM CDT
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Loaded guns, booze, and a toddler proved tragic in Montana last week when a 26-year-old man who said he was playing "gun tag" with a 3-year-old at a home north of Missoula shot and killed the boy. Galen Hawk had reportedly been drinking whiskey and alcoholic lemonade when he chased after Lonato Moran-Allen—who was holding a toy gun—with a .380 handgun that he says he didn't know was loaded. Lonato was hit by a single round in his back, reports NBC Montana. Hawk performed CPR, but the boy died shortly after he was taken to a nearby hospital.

Investigators say many people were in the house at the time of the shooting just before 8:30pm Wednesday. A Lake County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman says Hawk lived in the house, but that he and Lonato are not related, reports 9KXLH.com. Hawk has been charged with negligent homicide and his bail is set for $100,000; if convicted, he faces a maximum 20 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine. (Last year, a 19-year-old father allegedly left a loaded gun in his couch, which his 2-year-old daughter found.)